Nevill Holt Festival 2024 will open with a new production of Mozart’s iconic opera The Magic Flute directed by Melly Still, featuring The Britten Sinfonia, conducted by Finnegan Downie Dear, and with a cast of some of the UK’s most talented young opera singers.

The festival programme will then include Classical concerts (Imogen Cooper & Sarah Connolly, Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, Benjamin Grosvenor, Max Richter’s Four Seasons, Pavel Kolesnikov & Samson Tsoy), musical performances (Mary Bevan, Nicky Spence & Joseph Middleton in A Most Marvellous Party, Michael Morpurgo reading War Horse with musical accompaniment), jazz and contemporary music (Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra, Cécile McLorin Salvant & Dan Tepfer, Liane Carroll) and comedy (Mark Watson, Austentatious). 

Alongside these events there will be a programme of conversations with leading novelists, historians, broadcasters and artists, which will be announced in February 2024.

The Festival will take place in June in Nevill Holt’s award-winning theatre, medieval chapel and across the beautifully landscaped grounds of the 13th century Nevill Holt Estate, which is home to important works by some of Britain’s most acclaimed contemporary artists. The Festival will also present a major retrospective of sculptures by Anthony Caro, one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. 

An education programme for all ages will see 2,000 young people from across the region participate in creative projects alongside leading professional artists, culminating in performances of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, a chamber music concert and a programme of jazz standards and big band classics during the Festival. 


“For three weeks next June, Nevill Holt will be alive with music, performance, conversation and celebration. The very best of the performing and visual arts as well as literature and conversation will all join together in this magical place to present a diverse, entertaining and unique Festival that I hope everyone will be proud of.”

James Dacre, Festival Director for Nevill Holt Festival 2024

Nevill Holt Festival 2024 opens with Mozart’s most magical opera, directed and designed by Melly Still (Coram Boy, National Theatre, Tony and Olivier Award nominee; Rusalka and The Wreckers, Glyndebourne)

An enchanting fairy-tale quest for love, The Magic Flute promises an evening of magic, mystique and romance, set to some of the most sublime music ever written by Mozart, conducted by rising star Finnegan Downie Dear (First Prize at the International Mahler Competition) following his acclaimed Don Giovanni at Nevill Holt in 2021.

A feast for the senses and perfect for opera lovers of all ages, Nevill Holt Festival’s new production will see a cast of the UK’s most talented young opera singers take to our stage. It will be created in partnership with the award-winning Britten Sinfonia, which The Guardian recently described as “one of our most innovative and vital ensembles”. 

The Magic Flute stands alone — its mixture of the comic, the tragic and the fantastic, somehow all bound together through the beauty of Mozart’s music, is inexhaustibly fascinating. It is a privilege to be working with Melly Still, Nevill Holt Festival and Britten Sinfonia on this project, and I can think of no more perfect setting than the intimate and enchanting theatre at Nevill Holt to bring a new version of this piece to life.

Finnegan Downie Dear